Are you on the fence when it comes to trying yoga? Or maybe you have practiced yoga in the past, but have not been on your mat lately. Check out the following five reasons to come to my yoga class which happens every Friday from 2-3pm at the Towson Yoga Works studio.
Reason #1: You want to get high- yoga high, that is!
I am constantly amazed and in awe of the human body. This passion to learn as much as I could about the human body early in my life led me to a background in biology and neuroscience. With that background as my springboard, later in my life I leapt into less understood and accepted (at least in this country) models of the human body through the study of Chinese medicine and yoga. I’m pretty sure you’re wondering, “What does this have to do with getting high, Heather? Get to the good stuff already.” Okay, so here’s the good stuff.
Inside each of us, there are 12 pairs of cranial nerves. The 10th cranial nerve is named the vagus nerve. Science tells us that when this nerve is activated several things happen:
- Anxiety and depression are alleviated
- Mood is lifted
- Our levels of endorphins, which are responsible for bringing about positive feelings in the body and reducing the sensation of pain, are increased.
Essentially, turning our vagus nerve “on” makes us feel happy, free of anxiety and worry and reduces pain. You may be thinking “Great! Now tell me which pill will activate my vagus nerve”. No pill necessary. The best way to access all of the benefits the vagus nerve has to offer is to take long, deep, conscious breaths. Really, that’s it. You don’t need a prescription or to worry about potential side effects. You don’t have to wonder if your insurance will cover it.
So, there you have it. Do you want to feel relaxed and free of worry and anxiety without a single negative side effect? Take long, deep, conscious breaths. Practice yoga.